Newly public poll data shows Minneapolis wanted more security in 2019

A record-breaking number of Minneapolis citizens wanted more "security" in the city in 2019 — starkly contrasting the apparent majority of residents who now want to defund the police. 

Image source: Unsplash/Nicole Geri

Minneapolis residents were more concerned than ever about an apparent lack of security in the city before the George Floyd riots, according to the Downtown Council.

Data collected by the Council’s annual safety survey in 2019 was shown to internal staff in February of this year but was just made public recently, per KSTP. The survey shows a drastic increase in Minneapolis residents who feel unsafe in the city compared to previous years — even before the George Floyd riots.

In 2018, 37% of those surveyed reported “no safety concern.” That number fell to 22% in 2019. Meanwhile, 20% of respondents said they were troubled by a “lack of security” downtown — the highest number on record by far.

In 2019, only 12% of those surveyed felt “safe” while nearly half (49%) of respondents felt at least “somewhat unsafe.”

This marks a dramatic shift from 2018, when 74% of Minneapolis reported feeling “safe” or “somewhat safe,” according to the Council’s data, released by KSTP.

Also in 2019, the majority of Minneapolis residents wanted to hire more police officers to protect the city, according to a GQR survey.

However, some sources now claim that the Minneapolis citizenry has done an about face with regards to their beliefs about safety. Whereas the Council’s data showed unprecedented support for a larger police presence last year, new research now claims that most residents of the city want to replace the police department.

A poll commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and carried out by the Benson Strategy Group shows that 61% of Minneapolis residents want to defund and replace the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).

A separate survey of 500 individuals conducted by the Center of the American Experiment also found that 56% of Twin Cities residents favor a plan to defund the police.

The call for less law enforcement has gained several high-profile champions as well — including Minnesota’s own U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar.

“Dismantling the Minneapolis Police Department is necessary in order to heal and move forward as a community,” she said in a recent social media post.

She also suggested in a recent MSNBC interview that the “majority of the people in Minneapolis don’t trust the Minneapolis police” and so “going through a process of dismantling that institution” is therefore required.